Thursday, 22 February 2018

Purple Passion

Purple has officially made a comeback! Pantone have named Ultraviolet, a vibrant shade of purple, colour of the year. You may have recently noticed this colour splashed across furnishings, interiors and fashion. Which makes February's birthstone - amethyst - even more prominent this year. 

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to purple. The colour is often associated with the practice of mindfulness and amethyst itself is said to bring calmness, clarity and also boost intuition. It's even claimed that the purple quartz helps combat the effects of drunkenness!

At Alfies there's no shortage of amethyst jewellery, and we also have other items in this year's must-have shade! Here are some of our favourite picks:

Silver & gold Amethyst brooch/pendant with pearls and diamonds, c1900. Available from Zeeba Jewels
Bug brooch set with diamond, ruby, garnet, amethyst and cat's eye. Circa 1900. Available from Naneen Brooks

Amethyst, emerald and diamond floral necklace in 15ct gold. Available from Pari's Jewellery

c1970s Art Glass. Available from Diplomat Treasures International

Val St Lambert lamp base, c1950s. Available from Louise Verber Antiques 

Stratton compact, c1950, deadstock. Available from Dream Retro

Friday, 16 February 2018

LFW Kicks Off: London Fashion Week A/W18

For all you FROW wannabees, today's the day you've been waiting for! London Fashion Week AW18 kicks off officially today. This season, London's young and emerging designers are holding the torch for the event, while some of the bigger names - such as Armani and Tommy Hilfiger - are forgoing their usual shows. On the emerging designer line-up are AV RobertsonDilara Findikoglu and Richard Quinn.

Here at Alfies, we're here to show you how you can go green and wear vintage and still channel the latest styles. Here's the lowdown on the key trends of the week, and some fabulous pieces from Alfies:

Embellished Clutch Bags
Antique beaded evening bag with pearl snap closure Available from Connie Speight

Bakelite clutch bag with inlaid shell butterfly feature. Available from Sheila Cameron 
Sequin bow clutch, c1980s. Available from Gloria Sinclair
Austrian wool jacket, c1960s. Available from June Victor

Silver gild and enameled leaf shaped necklace. Available from Gareth Brooks

Bold Colour & Print

A selection of 1940s glazed pottery star sign brooches, made in Valleuris and signed Sisca. Available from Tony Durante

Haori meisen silk kimono, Japan, c1930s. Available from Barbara Rich Textiles

1950s French Tapestry Le Reveille Matin by Marc Saint Saens. Available from The Moderns

From the rest..

Don't forget to visit Tin Tin Collectables and Dream Retro, for their fantastic collections of vintage fashion, costume and accessories.

1980s gold coloured large clip-on earrings. Available from Dream Retro

Tassled Shawl. Available from Tin Tin Collectables

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is nearly upon us and 2018 brings us the year of the Dog - the Chinese zodiac moves in a 12 year cycle and each year has a corresponding animal. Zodiac signs play an integral part in Chinese culture, and can be used to determine your fortune for the year.  

Chinese New Year is a special occasion whichever part of the world you're in, and nearly always marked by family gatherings, food rituals, offerings at temples and the colour red. The decorations used on doors and windows are red coloured paper-cuts. The themes of these decorations are of happiness, good fortune, longevity and wealth. Firecrackers are also popular during the Chinese New Year as they are thought to scare off evil spirits. Expect to see lots of of colour, noise and a lots of dragons during the celebrations in London next Friday, 16th February.

At Alfies we have a wide array of Chinese items that would make wonderful gift offerings for the new year, here are our top picks..

3 boys holding a peach, c970s. Traditionally gifted on Chinese New Year. In Chinese society the peach has the meaning of long life. Available from Horner Antiques.
Chinese mid-century lidded pot, decorated with peaches and bats for longevity and good fortune, in famille jaune porcelain. The pot bears an apocryphal mark for the reign of the Emperor Qianlong (1735-1796). Available from Horner Antiques.

Chinese cinnabar, resin. Carved to represent flowers the traditional Chinese way. The technique goes back centuries. Pieces ranging from 1920s through to the latter part of the 20th century. Available from Horner Antiques.

19th century blue and white moon vase. Available from Diplomat Treasures.

19th century Chinese reverse painting. Available from Hongman Yang.
Decorative Chinese white copper teapot, does not tarnish. Available from John Cserny Fine Arts.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day is nearly upon us once again and it's time to start thinking about how to celebrate..

We are offering a special prosecco afternoon tea for two at the Rooftop Kitchen, plus £100 in Alfies gift vouchers in a special Valentine's giveaway! To be in with the chance to win, keep an eye on the Alfies Instagram account (@alfiesantiques), tag a friend in our promotional post and DM (direct message) the Alfies account with your email address*. Simple! The winner will be announced Saturday 10th February. 

*Entrants will be added to the Alfies mailing list

Of course it's also time to start thinking about what you might gift your loved one. With the holiday symbolising all that it does, it's a perfect time to express appreciation for those who are important to us. Traditionally, Valentine's day is the holiday representing the Roman saint and has been associated with love and romance since the Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love and chivalry flourished. Over time this has evolved into the practice of card and gift giving. 

There are the usual gifts that are given at this time of year, such as flowers and chocolates, but how about something a little more unique? Read on to see some of our favourite pieces from around the store that we think would be perfect for the occasion.

Early 20th century oil painting, oil on board. Available from Robert McKoy Fine Arts

A 1950s Aurora Borealis heart carriage brooch. Available from Tony Durante

A 1960s gilded cupid brooch. Available from Good Time Antiques 

A 20th century signed floral painting, oil on canvas. Available from i Fine & Contemporary Art

An American 1940s floral brooch. Available from Tony Durante

A selection of antique gold and silver charms. Available from Good Time Antiques

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